Kellie Harrington (red)


Five defending champions will be in action in Saturday’s National Elite finals at Dublin’s National Stadium.

Martin Keenan, Grainne Walsh, Dervla Duffy, Kellie Harrington and Christina Desmond put their belts on the line at super-heavy, welter, feather, light and middle.

Walsh, a European Union Elite bronze medallist, meets former World Junior champion and Olympic Youth finalist Ciara Ginty in the 69kg decider.

Ginty, who scooped the AIBA World Female Junior Boxer of the Year in 2013, claimed an Elite belt at light-welter last year but has moved up a notch.

2016 World Elite light-welter finalist Kellie Harrington has since dropped down to light and faces former European Youth and Junior champion Amy Broadhurst in Saturday’s 60kg decider.

Harrington beat Shauna O’Keeffe, who Olympic and WBA champion Katie Taylor beat in the 2015 final, in the 2017 title match.

Cork’s European Elite bronze medalist Desmond is in against Aoife Burke and Keenan renews acquaintances with ex Elite champion Dean Gardiner in a Limerick versus Tipperary All-Ireland in a repeat of the 2017 box-off for a place on the Irish team for the European Championships which Gardiner won.

Dean Gardiner

Duffy beat Ashley McCullough, a niece of 1992 Olympic finalist and WBC champion Wayne McCullough, in the semi-finals last weekend and goes head-to-head Michaela Walsh for featherweight gold.

Walsh, who lost on a split decision to England’s two-time Olympic champion Nicola Adams in the 2014 Commonwealth flyweight final in Glasgow, claimed European Union Elite bantamweight gold in 2017.

Harrington and Grainne Walsh took home silver and bronze from the same tournament, with Harrington losing out to Finland’s Mira Potkonen who beat Katie Taylor at Rio 2016 in Taylor’s last fight in the amateur ranks.

Meanwhile, the middleweight final between Portlaoise BC stylist Michael Nevin, a former European Schoolboy, Junior and Youth champion, and Derry’s Brett McGinty of the Oakleaf BC has to potential to be the final of the night.

The Oakleaf BC are also celebrating their 25th anniversary this year and McGinty, a Youth Commonwealth Games medalist, would, if his hand is raised in victory, become their first Elite champion.

Cork’s Thomas McCarthy, who lost the 2017 flyweight final to Rio Olympian Brendan Irvine is back at the business end of the flagship tournament of Irish boxing versus Dublin bantam Evan Metcalfe.

In form Limerick heavyweight Kevin Sheehy claimed a Senior title (formerly Intermediate) in December and an U/22 belt in January and is aiming for the biggest prize of them all against experienced Dubliner Kiril Afanasev.

The Shannonsider is ahead of target, according to his St Francis BC coach Ken Moore who will be working his corner with his brother Jimmy Moore, a former Elite champion.

“It’s been a big break-through year for Kevin. I sat down with him at the start of the season and set out achievable but tough targets, said Ken.

“One was to win an Irish title, and he’s won two. The other was to make an impact on the Elites, and he’s into the final. One more hurdle. It’s a big hurdle, but you know what, he’s going to give it a good rattle.”

Feather, meantime, could become one of the new Olympic weights from women.

Females currently box in the Olympic in the fly, light and middle classes, but feather  has been included on the program for women for the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires this year which suggests it could be one of the new limits at Tokyo 2020 along with welter.

The International Olympic Committee have requested that AIBA include two new Olympic weights for women for Tokyo 2020. A decision is expected in the coming weeks, but it could mean that men’s Olympic weights drop from ten to eight.

Irish woman’s boxing, courtesy of Katie Taylor, has won Ireland’s only Olympic gold in any sport this century.

Tickets for the Liffey Crane Hire Elite finals can be purchased over the phone on 01-4533371 with debit cards. Tickets are priced at €40 Ringside, €30 Angles and €25 Gallery.


February 17th


Best Boxer Award:  Dean Walsh

48kg Kristina O’Hara (St John Bosco A) beat Shannon Sweeney (St Annes) 5-0
51kg Carly McNaul (Ormeau Road) W/O
56kg Kurt Walker (Canal) beat Stephen McKenna (Old School) 5-0
69kg Grainne Walsh (Spartacus) beat Gillian Duffy (Bray) TKO3
57kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart) beat Moira McElligott (St Michaels Athy) 4-1
54kg Terry Mullarney (Ballyhaunis) W/O
81kg Leona Houlihan (Crumlin) beat Caroline Connolly (Mourne GG) TKO2
49kg Blaine Dobbins (St Josephs Derry) beat Darryl Moran (Illies GG) 3-2
81kg Joe Ward (Moate) beat Anthony Browne (St Michaels Dub) 4-1
60kg Kelly Harrington (Glasnevin) beat Shauna O’Keeffe (Clonmel) 4-1
60kg Patrick Mongan (Olympic) beat George Bates (St Marys Dublin) 3-2
64kg Ciara Ginty (Geesala) beat Emma Agnew (Dealgan) 5-0
64kg Sean McComb (Holy Trinity) beat Wayne Kelly (Ballynacargy) 5-0
52kg Brendan Irvine (St Pauls) beat Thomas McCarthy (Mayfield) 5-0
69kg Dean Walsh (St Ibars)beat Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) 5-0
75kg Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans) W/O
75kg Emmett Brennan (Glasnevin) beat Stephen Broadhurst (Dealgan) 4-1`
91kg Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) beat Ken Okungbowa (Athlone) 5-0
91+kg Martin Keenan (Rathkeale) beat Thomas Carty (Glasnevin) 4-1
81+kg Maeve McCarron (Carrigart) W/O


2018 National Elite Championships National Stadium Dublin

February 24th


48kg Shannon Sweeney (St Annes) V Carol Coughlan (Monkstown D)
49kg Ricky Nesbitt (Carrickmacross) V Conor Jordan (St Aidans)
51kg Ceire Smith (Virginia/DCU) V Niamh Early (Ryston)
52kg Conor Quinn (Clonard Antrim) W/O
54kg Lauren Hogan (St Brigids E) V Amanda Loughlin (St Michaels Dub)
56kg Evan Metcalfe (Hyland Academy) V Thomas McCarthy (Setanta)
57kg Dervla Duffy (Mulhuddart) V Michaela Walsh (Monkstown A)
60kg George Bates (St Marys Dublin) v Francis Cleary (Ballina)
60kg Amy Broadhurst (Dealgan) V Kellie Harrington (St Marys Dublin)
64kg Joanne Lambe (Carrickmacross) W/O
64kg Wayne Kelly (Portlaoise) V Caoimhin Ferguson (Clonard A)
69kg Kieran Molloy (Oughterard) V Eugene McKeever (Holy Family D)
69kg Grainne Walsh (Sparticus) V Ciara Ginty (Geesala)
75kg Aoife Burke (St Marys Dublin) V Christina Desmond (Fr Horgans)
75kg Brett McGinty (Oakleaf) V Michael Nevin (Portlaoise)
81kg Aoife O’Rourke (Castlerea) W/O
81kg Brian Kennedy (St Marys Daingean) V Caomhin Hynes (Holy Trinity)
81+kg Lisa Browne (Aglish) V Nell Fox (Rathkeale)
91kg Kevin Sheehy (St Francis) V Kiril Afanasev (Smithfield)
91+kg Dean Gardiner (Clonmel) V Martin Keenan (Rathkeale)